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Both users and vendors have a major problem with Computer Aided Software and Systems Engineering (CASE) tools. The information held by one tool is never quite the same as that required by another tool.

Users need to be able to move information from one CASE tool to another in order to develop systems efficiently. They need to move information from a tool to a repository and back. They need to exchange data between repositories. And if users want to use more than one tool at a time, for example because no single tool on the market meets all their requirements, this data exchange even needs to be dynamic, and interactive. An example for this is "round-trip" engineering.

Vendors have to meet that need by providing interfaces between all the tools and repositories demanded by their user base. Without appropriate technology, this is almost an impossible thing to do, simply because of the development cost involved. So what technology is available that can resolve this in an elegant and cost-effective manner?